Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Book Review ~ California Girl Chronicles: Brea & The City of Plastic by Michelle Gamble-Risley

A very interesting read, if not a little disturbing.

Meet Brea Harper, she is the next Carrie Bradshaw only transplanted in Los Angeles. Funny, witty, beautiful, and very sexy, Brea takes readers on a wild ride into her outrageous romantic and professional life. Demoralized and forced to work in what she calls "bikini hell" just to make ends meet, Brea pursues her career to become a screenwriter only to be continuously distracted by hot men. Delightfully misguided, Brea makes poor choices many women of all ages will find highly relatable. She is one of those unforgettable characters readers love to love.

When I received California Girl Chronicles (published by 3L Publishing) for review I was expecting a romantic comedy. Well... At least I got one thing right! It's romantic alright, but with a huge pinch of erotic thrown in. So if you're 16 or under (hell, if you're under 18!) move away slowly, because from page 6 she spares you no details at all!

I really sympathized with Brea. To a point, I even felt like we shared some similarities. I've been there: up to mischievous no-goods, in love with a bad boy, in a bad relationship that is almost hypnotic and you just can't shake it. Done it and buried the T-shirt deep in my closet. But there is something else going on with her. The girl just can't say no.

Don't get me wrong! I'm a fierce advocate for girls doing their thing and having a good time. But if you are going to go down that road you gotta know how to handle things and have a little control. And although Brea is painted as this strong minded woman, control is just a word that doesn't exist in her vocabulary.

Ok. She can't quite micro-manage what happens in her professional life. She can't help that she's in love with an a**hole either. But she could control who she ends up in bed with and that just doesn't happen. For a character that almost brags about how she is on top of that game, the girl is like a free for all. There are a few scenes in the book where she's either going along with something that has been forced on her, not entirely happy with what is going on or using sex like an emotional bandage. I found that a little worrying. There is liking sex and there is being a sex addict. And Brea's lack of "management skills" makes me wonder if she is not the latter.

So I really struggled finding the appropriate rating for this book. The writing is smooth, the plot interesting, the love story heart breaking, yet I couldn't quite say that I've enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. And I am always up for reading a good hot sex scene! Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting it to be so strong on the erotic side. Wouldn't thought that would bother me, but hey-ho. Go figure!

The second book in the series, California Girl Chronicles: Brea's Big Break, will be out this summer. It will be interesting to see what happens. :)


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